Sam Laverack, President and CEO of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp (NHMB), is retiring on June 30, 2018 after 42 years with the organization. Gregg Tewksbury, President and CEO of Savings Bank of Walpole (SBW), has been selected to succeed Laverack as President and CEO of NHMB.
Laverack’s banking career began in 1976 as the Branch Manager of Meredith Village Savings Bank’s (MVSB) Moultonborough office. After several leadership roles within retail banking, commercial lending and marketing, Laverack was selected as president and CEO of MVSB in 2008 by the Board of Trustees. Under his leadership, the MVSB grew from $43 million to over $750 million in assets, and expanded from two branch locations to 13 full service branches. A consummate community banking professional and creative thinker, Laverack worked with Paul Rizzi, then CEO of Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack), to form NHMB in January 2013. This collaboration resulted in each Bank’s ability to expand service areas, increase lending capacity, mitigate growing regulatory and technology costs and offer more career opportunities to employees. He became Co-CEO of NHMB in 2013, and assumed the position of sole president and CEO of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp in January 2016. In 2015, NHMB expanded to include MillRiver Wealth Management, which was created from the financial services arms of MVSB and the Merrimack. In 2017, Savings Bank of Walpole (SBW) announced their intention to join NH Mutual Bancorp. Under Laverack’s guidance, NHMB has grown to four separate and distinct community financial companies– Meredith Village Savings Bank, Merrimack County Savings Bank, MillRiver Wealth Management and Savings Bank of Walpole – with 27 branch offices and $2.2 billion in assets.
In 2015, NHMB was chosen as Business NH Magazine’s Business of the Year for the Financial Services category, largely due to the success of this unique partnership.
In addition to maintaining a steadfast dedication to the people and communities that MVSB, the Merrimack and MillRiver serve, Laverack has led the companies to strong results of significant measures and business success, often scoring well above peer organizations in key financial and regulatory indicators. NHMB and its subsidiaries demonstrate that community engagement, stewardship, focus on employee development and a healthy and progressive corporate culture work together to provide impressive benefits to the Bank, the industry, the employee base, customers and the community.
Throughout his decades-long tenure in banking, Laverack has inspired countless employees to donate their time to non-profits they are most passionate about in the Central NH, Lakes Region, Seacoast and Greater Nashua communities. As a result, hundreds of employees from NHMB, MVSB, the Merrimack and MillRiver donate tens of thousands of hours to an extensive list of local causes each year.
“Sam leads by example, and he’s been devoted to giving back throughout his career,” said Cindy Hemeon-Plessner, SVP and Marketing Officer for NHMB. “He is known for saying ‘leave everything you are involved in better than how you found it’, motivating employees to exhibit stewardship in their daily lives, a key principle and code of conduct from our organization’s values.”
Each year, the NH Bankers Association honors a New Hampshire bank employee who has gone beyond the course of ordinary business to help improve the State of New Hampshire through civic and community engagement. Recipients are respected industry professionals who have made a significant impact on those around them by inspiring others to become involved in community service. Laverack was chosen for the “2017 Community Banker of the Year” award. He was selected for this prestigious honor by a panel of leading public officials from the State of New Hampshire, including State Senate President Chuck Morse, House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. John Hunt, and State Treasurer William Dwyer.
Upon presenting the award to Mr. Laverack, Bank Commissioner Jerry Little said, “I’ve had the honor of knowing Sam Laverack for a long time. His talents as a banker were earned over decades of hard work. But being a ‘community banker’ takes much more than banking talent, and in Sam’s case the additional dynamics of leadership and deeply personal caring and community spirit came to him naturally. It’s who he is and it’s wonderful that his peers are celebrating that. Sam has given in extraordinary ways to the many communities served by Meredith Village Savings Bank. Indeed, he has used his position as a community banker to make the world around all of us a much better place.”
Laverack was nominated by several organizations, including the Granite United Way in recognition of his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in leveraging his role as a business leader in the communities New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp serves. The NH Lakes Association nomination cites many of Laverack’s efforts, most notably his leadership with their annual Lakes Congress, a lakes stewardship networking and education event. Squam Lakes Conservation Society noted Laverack’s long term as director, with the last three as president of their Society. Laverack’s “steady leadership resulted in the doubling of land permanently protected, a stronger organization, and increased visibility in the communities we serve.”
Laverack’s devotion to giving back to his community has led him to chair his hometown of Holderness’ Budget Committee, Chair of the Trustee of Trust Funds, and Vice-Chair of the Board of Selectman. Beyond his home town, he has served on the boards for Speare Memorial Hospital, the Belknap County Economic Development Council (now the BelknapEDC), and Lakes Region Advisory Board for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the White Mountain Economic Development Council, and the Greater Meredith Program.
His passion as an outdoor enthusiast is evidenced by his role as a Board member for the NH Lakes Association, and the Squam Lakes Conservation Society.
Leading by example, Laverack has inspired countless employees to donate their time to the non‐profits they are most passionate about in the Central NH, Lakes Region, Seacoast and Greater Nashua communities. As a result, hundreds of employees from NHMB, MVSB, the Merrimack and MillRiver donate thousands of hours of their time to an extensive list of local causes every year.
“Sam is also especially interested in ensuring that strong leadership continues in banking, and spends a great deal of his time and energy on mentoring and developing employees,” said David Cronin, SVP and Human Resources Director of NHMB.
On December 14, 2017, Savings Bank of Walpole announced its plans to join NHMB. Gregg Tewksbury, SBW’s current President and CEO, will succeed Laverack and lead the combined organization with the guidance of the boards and management teams of NHMB, SBW, MVSB, the Merrimack and MillRiver. He will maintain his offices in Walpole and Keene and add offices at all partner organizations as well. “One of the benefits of this alliance is the ability to tap into the leadership and expertise that Gregg will bring to our organization as a steward of mutual banking values in New Hampshire – and most importantly, in the individual communities served by our partner banks,” noted Laverack.
Tewksbury has been with SBW since 2005, and has also served on its Board of Trustees for fifteen years. Prior to SBW, Tewksbury was CFO at Merriam-Graves Corporation and CFO at CFX Corporation. He is a current board member and immediate past Board Chairman of Cheshire Medical Center, serves on the Communications Council of the American Bankers Association, and is the Secretary of the Community Bankers Association of New Hampshire. He has also served on numerous community and industry boards during his career.